It had been a long time coming. And Prithvi Shaw is only 18. Yet, it feels like his debut innings in Test Cricket – a swashbuckling century against a toothless West Indian attack on the dustbowls of Rajkot – was inevitable for years. Some would say this explosion should have come two years ago. But under the careful tutelage of U-19 India coach Rahul Dravid, the frighteningly talented Mumbai prodigy became a young adult, and led his country to the U-19 World Cup before taking on the big boys. It was only 18 months ago that he scored his first ODI century at the U-19 level. And here he is, in the era of Virat Kohli, threatening to become India’s next great batting hope. After all, he has been batting against players twice his age for almost a decade now. The tall fast bowlers of the Caribbean were nothing new.

The fearless opener’s aggressive century on the international stage was reminiscent of the destiny and confidence of all the greats gone by – a dollop of Virender Sehwag (pure hand-eye coordination, minimal technique), a dash of Sachin Tendulkar (those back-foot punches) and even a pinch of Virat Kohli (the hunger to dominate). “The youngest Indian to score a century on Test debut” might be the most insignificant of his records by the end of his career, if one is to go by his junior legacy. For a boy who is just one Test match and 14 senior first-class matches old, Prithvi Shaw has been in the news too long to not fulfill his destiny.

Here are some of the gifted opener’s career turning points:

– In 2012 Shaw was one of the few young cricketers to be invited to England in Manchester. Due to his blazing performances, he was invited back in 2013 and 2014, and has vast experience in the conditions already.

– 13-year-old Shaw scored 546 for Rizvi Springfield High School in a Harris Shield match, which was back in 2013 the highest ever score recorded in any official form of cricket.

– The documentary ‘Beyond All Boundaries’ released on Indian screens in 2014, which chronicled three distinct on Indian cricket: an upcoming woman’s cricketer, India’s biggest fan and the male prodigy. Shaw was that prodigy, and the film shun a spotlight onto his widowed father’s obsessive struggle to make his son a champion cricketer.

– After captaining Mumbai’s U-16 and U-19 teams, Shaw made his first-class debut in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy on India’s biggest domestic stage. He scored a century in the second innings – and went on to score five centuries in the next six matches for Mumbai, one of which was a debut century in Duleep Trophy cricket.

– It was in IPL 2018 where Shaw, playing for the Delhi Daredevils, catapulted himself into the living rooms of India by opening the innings and scoring a blazing 62 against a considerable KKR bowling attack. He was the joint youngest to score a fifty in IPL history. He scored only two fifties in 9 innings, but batted at a strike rate of 153. Veterans criticized his impatient technique, and Shaw listened.

– After India went 2-1 down in the Test series in England, regular opener Murali Vijay was dropped. Shaw was drafted into the squad as back-up, but he didn’t play the last two Tests, both of which India lost.

– Instead, he officially replaced Shikhar Dhawan as first-choice opener for the West Indies series at home. KL Rahul and Shaw opened the innings. Rahul got out for a duck, and Shaw made 136, and was declared Man of the Match in his first ever international game, much like first-class cricket.

– Shaw has the chance to become only the fourth Indian batsman ever to score centuries in his first two Test matches when India takes on West Indies in Hyderabad. The first three: Mohammed Azharuddin (1984), Sourav Ganguly (1996) and Rohit Sharma (2013).